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Trinidad Head Memorial, CA  Lighthouse accessible by car and a short, easy walk.Photogenic lighthouse or setting.   

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Trinidad Head Memorial Lighthouse

After modern counterparts replaced the original fog bell and Fresnel lens at Trinidad Head Lighthouse in 1947, the Coast Guard donated the historic artifacts to the Trinidad Civic Club for display in a planned memorial park overlooking Trinidad Bay. Mrs. Earl Hallmark donated land for the park, and in 1949 the club built a concrete Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse, an accurate replica that many visitors believe to be the actual Trinidad Head Lighthouse. The historic Fresnel lens was installed in the lighthouse's lantern room, and the fog bell was suspended from a wooden frame built adjacent to the lighthouse. For its work on the memorial, the Trinidad Civic Club received the 1949 California Grand Sweepstakes Prize in the Build a Better Community Contest sponsored by the National Federation of Women's Clubs and the Kroeger Company.

In the early 1970s, the Trinidad Civic Club decided to establish a memorial at the lighthouse for those lost at sea. The memorial started as a marble slab engraved with sea gulls and the words "Lost At Sea," but has steadily grown through the years. In 1975, the club created a four-sided, pyramidal, rock-cement monument, located near the fog bell, that supports plaques inscribed with names of those lost at sea. Inscriptions were later added for those who were buried at sea, and the list of names soon outgrew the plaques on the small monument, so additional plaques were placed along the adjacent cement retaining wall.

Each year on Memorial Day, friends and families gather to remember those whose names are recorded on the plaques. Originally, the fog bell was only rung at the Memorial Day gatherings, but through the generosity of Dave Zebo, a long-time resident and a former mayor of Trinidad, the bell has been automated to toll each day at noon in memory of those buried and lost at sea. Click here to hear the bell toll a couple of times (the flag at the memorial was at half-staff due to the then recent passing of President Ford).

In August 1998, new windows and a new stainless steel dome were installed atop the tower thanks to the efforts of community volunteers and Tom Odom, a former mayor of Trinidad.

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